Deaths Elsewhere

August 29, 2004

David T. McLaughlin,

72, a business executive who became president of Dartmouth College in the 1980s, a time of academic and political turbulence on its campus, died in his sleep Wednesday while on vacation at a lodge in Dillingham, Alaska.

He served on many corporate boards, including a term as chairman of CBS in the late 1990s, and his charitable work included serving as chairman of the American Red Cross during relief efforts after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

As president of Dartmouth from 1981 to 1987, he more than doubled the school's endowment, increased faculty salaries by 43 percent and constructed new buildings, including an art center, an athletic complex and dormitories.

But he faced sustained opposition from the faculty, who, according to polls, questioned his intellectual leadership. His reinstatement of the Reserve Officers Training Corps on campus set off strong protests.

Helen K. Copley,

81, retired longtime publisher of The San Diego Union, died Wednesday of pneumonia in the aftermath of a stroke in La Jolla, Calif.

Mrs. Copley, who began working at the paper as a secretary, was publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune and its predecessors for nearly three decades. She took over after the 1973 death of her husband, James S. Copley. Upon her retirement in 2001, she handed over The Copley Press Inc. to her son, David C. Copley.

While she was publisher, her newspapers won two Pulitzer Prizes. She remained publisher emeritus of the newspaper and chairman emeritus of the company. The Copley Press owns nine daily newspapers and other publications in California, Illinois and Ohio.

She also was involved in philanthropy, helping secure a home for the San Diego Symphony and underwriting the library at the University of San Diego. She also was appointed as one of eight trustees to oversee the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a biomedical research and education organization.

Noble Watts,

78, the blues and jazz saxophonist who led the house band at Sugar Ray Robinson's club in Harlem and played on rock 'n' roll tours with Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis, died Tuesday in a nursing home in DeLand, Fla. He had been struggling for months with emphysema and pneumonia.

Mr. Watts, also known as "Thin Man," released a series of singles on Baton Records, including the instrumental hits "Hard Times (the Slop)" in 1957 and "Jookin'" in 1961.

He established his professional reputation in New York in the 1950s, where he played with the house band at Sugar Ray Robinson's club in Harlem. He also played with Lionel Hampton's orchestra and on rock 'n' roll package tours.

Saxophonists from King Curtis to Bruce Springsteen sideman Clarence Clemons were influenced by his booming tenor sound.

Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal,

66, who served as Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations for nearly 30 years, died of lung cancer Thursday in New York.

He was considered one of Yemen's most articulate diplomats and was known for advocating modernization and human development.

He was named in 1973 as the permanent representative of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen to the United Nations. He continued to represent a united Yemen after the Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic joined in 1990. He remained in the post until July 2002.

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